Emmerdale has begun a “phased return to filming” by recording new episodes that show characters dealing with the lockdown, ITV has announced.
Work on the six episodes began on Wednesday at the soap’s studios in Leeds.
The new episodes will “ensure Emmerdale stays on air in June”, said a statement from the broadcaster.
Emmerdale’s executive producer Jane Hudson said: “Lockdown has created an opportunity for us to focus on what is important in our lives.
“When we first discussed commissioning these episodes back in March the writers instantly rose to the challenge.
“Seven weeks into lockdown and the scripts have an added poignancy and meaning.
“The response from everyone at Emmerdale to filming these episodes has been fantastic and we’re really grateful for their support.”
The episodes have been filmed with a scaled-down crew and social distancing measures in place.
There will be no filming on location and scripts feature a smaller number of actors and scenes than usual.
The new episodes will explore characters reflecting on what they think is important in life, as well as resentments and past feuds.
The soap will also look at the nation’s gratitude towards healthcare workers and those working on the front line during the pandemic.
The episodes will be recorded over a two-week period and will feature some of the soap’s best known characters.
John Whiston, managing director of continuing drama for ITV Studios, said: “It’s brilliant that Jane and the team at Emmerdale have risen to the challenge of getting these episodes shot using the new protocols for filming drama while observing the Government’s social distancing guidelines.
“Also, it will be great to see what the likes of Chas and Paddy and Jimmy and Nicola have got up to while they’ve been going through lockdown the same as the rest of us.”
Filming of Emmerdale was halted in March because of Covid-19.
Transmission of new episodes of the soap was also reduced to three episodes per week in order to make content that had already been filmed last longer.
Coronation Street, another of ITV’s soaps, is set to resume filming within weeks, actor Helen Worth told This Morning on Wednesday.
Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content, told The Telegraph last week that filming for EastEnders would resume by the end of June.